Career Partnerships Program

Give something, however small, to the one in need. For it is not small to one who has nothing. Neither is it small to God, if we have given what we could.

— St. Gregory Nazianzen

CPP Calendar

Career Partnerships Program Overview

Applications Open for the Career Partnerships Program The Career Partnerships Program (CPP) builds professional skills and offers concrete experiences for students to explore college and career. The goal is to give students the information, skills, inspiration and motivation that they need to shape their own futures. In meetings, trainings and the once-each-semester mini-retreat, students learn communication and networking skills and discuss issues that relate to both their present and their future. On college trips students tour nearby universities, meet with O’Dowd alums and evaluate what they want in a college.

Workplace trips and special events introduce students to a variety of professionals and careers. Deeper exploration of careers is also available through shadowing and internship possibilities. The CPP is open to rising sophomores, juniors and seniors. For more information see the information sheet or contact Kathleen Purcellvia email or phone at (510) 577-9100 ext. 309.

To apply for the 2013-14 CPP, complete the application form and turn it in by May 21, 2013. Action on applications will be by email in early June and will require a student email reply (just a little practice in professional communication skills!)

What We Do

  • Shadowing introduces students to career partners -- professionals doing important and interesting work. Students enter a professional workplace, watch the career partner at work, and talk about issues -- college, career, life choices, the role of professionals in the community, their ability to work for the greater good, and the impact of economic and social factors related to that profession, including gender and ethnicity.
  • Group events, where students meet different types of professionals, expand the student’s sense of possibility and offer insight into a variety of fields.

  • College visits are a window into the student’s own future. Students meet professors, interact with college students, and explore what they want in a college.
  • Before meeting professionals, students will have thought about what they want to accomplish with this experience and prepared questions they want to ask. We also coach students in the culture, etiquette and norms of the professional environment.
  • Students learn communication and networking skills that will serve them in school and throughout their lives.  Guided reflection helps students get the most from their experiences.
  • CPP students receive individual attention to help them identify their interests, develop their skills, and meet professionals who will help them pursue their dreams.

CPP Visits Crime Lab

Students participating a Career Partnerships Program field trip got a real-world view of how forensic science is used in crime-solving when they visited the Oakland Police Department’s Criminalistics Laboratory on April 22.

Located on the sixth floor of the Oakland Police Department, the laboratory has four operational units – firearms, latent prints, forensic biology and drug analysis.

Criminalist/Supervisor of the Drug Analysis Unit Sandra Sachs, Ph.D., and her colleagues talked with students about how they analyze physical evidence collected from crime scenes in the laboratory, prepare written reports of their findings, and sometimes are called upon to explain complicated scientific evidence to juries in court.

The students got to look through a sophisticated comparison microscope that allows criminalists to analyze side-by-side specimens, learned that there are three main fingerprint patterns – loops, whorls and arches, watched a criminalist demonstrate the swabbing method to collect a DNA sample from a T-shirt, and got an overview of the presumptive and confirmatory tests used to identify drugs.

“It was really interesting learning about the different sectors of the lab and how each person specializes in a different area,” Madisen Bilodeau ’17 said.

Victoria Keast ’17 said the visit helped shape her plans for the future, as it encouraged her to study science in college. “There are so many interesting and fun careers in science. The thing I found most interesting about the visit to the Crime Lab is how the lab uses technology that ranges greatly, such as Super Glue in a fish tank (which helps reveal latent fingerprints) to robots that extract DNA,” she said.

Career Day Encourages Students to Plan for the Future


In today’s world of mergers and acquisitions, human resources departments play a critical role in ensuring the smooth integration of two companies into one.

Vice President of Human Resources for Chevron’s Downstream & Chemicals organization Rhonda Jackson Morris ’83 says training and orientation programs are key elements of a successful transition.

“Different companies have different cultures, and the HR department has to integrate the companies together and develop programs to help with the transition,” she said. “We want to make sure that everybody has the right tools, the right training, and the right skills to do their job the best they can.”

Morris was one of nearly 50 professionals who participated in O’Dowd’s Career Day, held on April 17.

Junior students were able to choose from various presentations by alumni, parents and members of the community who discussed careers in many fields, including engineering, business, health care, advertising, law enforcement, public service, journalism and marketing.

Career Partnership Program Students Visit Facebook Campus

Career Partnership Program students visited the Facebook campus today. In addition to excellent career advice they were able to tour the incredible campus which is modeled after a street in Palo Alto, complete with store fronts. Some of the storefronts were to free restaurants the staff can eat at, choosing between BBQ, mexican, hamburgers, salads, and other food themes. There was even a Sweets shop that included Mojito cupcakes, Grand Marnier chocolate tarts, All You Can Eat Fro Yo and more.

Students were given excellent career advice by our tour leader, Isabelle Dupont (O’Dowd Alum/Jeanne’s Daughter). We greatly appreciate the opportunity.

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O’Dowd Students in Life Like Medical Simulations at Samuel Merritt University

Students got a phenomenal opportunity to experience a high end medical simulation suite for training anesthesiologists at Samuel Merritt University.

They also go the opportunity to participate in a high end infant care simulation suite at Samuel Merritt University.

Some student testimonials as they come in:

Ms. Purcell,
I really enjoyed the trip to the University and I greatly appreciate the time the team took teach us about the simulations. Going through simulations only increased my excitement of going into the medical field. I really loved learning how to give a person a shot and how to take vital signs. Also, being apart of simulations was really fun. The whole trip was important to me because I really felt connected to the work their were doing there, and I felt I was meant to be apart of the goals they were striving towards. This trip only made my urge to become a doctor even greater than before and I can’t wait until I can graduate from O’Dowd, move on to college, and then hopefully medical school.

Thank you for arranging the trip!!
Zoe Appel

Career Partnerships Program College Visits

Career Partnerships Program College Visits:  CPP has room on the following college trips.  Students who wish to attend, please contact Kathleen Purcell: kpurcell@bishopodowd.org.  Families will also need to submit the attached parent permission and health care form.

St. Mary’s College:  Friday, March 7, 2014, 1:30-5:00 pm.  Travel by school van.

UC Davis:  Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 8:45am-5:30pm.  Travel by school bus.

Stanford University:  April 25, 2014, 8:45am to 4:00pm.  Travel by school bus.

CPP Evening with the Professionals

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CPP at St. Mary’s Kinesiology

Students ran on treadmills, testing breathing metrics and physical healthy at St. Mary’s on this Career Partnership Program field trip.

CPP at Federal Building

Students met his Honor Judge Henderson and the FBI.

CPP at UCSF

CPP Tours Oakland Forensics Lab




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Finding God in All Things

9500 Stearns Ave | Oakland, CA 94605 | Phone: (510) 577-9100 | Fax: (510) 638-3259